Like it or not, our smartphones have become an essential part of our health and wellbeing. Whether it's connecting with friends, building new relationships, looking up dinner recipes or streaming music for our workouts, for most of us, our phones are a huge part of our lives.
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Now, there are a whole host of new ways we can use our everyday tech to boost our wellbeing - including an assortment of apps aimed at just that.
Track your period, manage your sleep cycle, ease stress and find health-boosting recipes with our edit of the best wellness apps on your phone's store right now - after all, if we can order takeaways and taxis at a tap of a button, why not try some meditation, too? Your body (and mind) will thank you for it…
Meditation and mindfulness is made simple with Headspace, the app that counts Gwyneth Paltrow and Emma Watson as fans.
Literally giving users a workout for the brain - led by former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe - the premise is to take ten minutes a day to listen in and clear your mind. So what are the benefits? Users report better attention spans, alertness and instant calm.
And, since September 7 is an awareness day for Youth Mental Health, Headspace is offering a special offer of 40 per cent off their yearly subscription. You can't argue with that, right?
Swot up on your cycle with period-tracking app Clue, and learn more about how your period affects you.
With the options to input symptoms such as cramps and headaches throughout the month, as well as lifestyle factors such as alcohol, sleep and sex, you'll quickly build up a picture of how your cycle not only affects your physical health, but your mental health too. An essential tool for any woman looking to get to know her body better.
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Switch the way you think about food and dieting to become healthier with weight loss programme Noom.
Based on the psychology of food, and our behaviours to it, Noom focuses on changing behaviours, rather than cutting out foods and following an intense fitness schedule – all recommended by a team of nutritionists, personal trainers and behavioural psychologists.
The app has 1:1 health coaching, health quizzes and articles to motivate you plus you can track your exercise, weight, blood sugar and blood pressure.
Exhale is the first emotional wellbeing app for and by black, indigenous women of colour (BIPOC).
The app inspires self-care, mindfulness and rest through content curated by BIWOC - including meditations, coaching talks, affirmations, guided visualisations and breath work.
Meditopia’s library offers over 1000+ guided meditations on topics including stress, anxiety, acceptance, happiness, motivation, focus and breath.
With over 7 million members worldwide, they offer each of these members deep-dive meditations. Even if you don't have your iPhone with you, you can access all of the content from Apple Watch, and start your day off with a daily meditation or one of your favourite practices.
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6. Fitness+ for Time To Walk
Apple Watch users, this is especially for you. Fitness+ will do wonders for your wellness and the service is only getting better and better. For those of you who haven't tried Time To Walk yet- the episodes feature some of the world’s most interesting and influential people who share stories, photos, and music with Fitness+ subscribers. Each Time to Walk episode is shaped by stories about the guest’s personal, life-shaping moments and includes lessons learned — all recorded while the guest is on an intimate walk in a location that is meaningful to them.Time To Walk is perfect if you're looking to get out of the house to relax and there are some epic guests coming up, including the one and only Stephen Fry.
7. Results Wellness Lifestyle
Lucy Mecklenburgh's fitness app Results Wellness Lifestyle prides itself on the ability to house all your health apps in one place with 1000+ workouts, 600+ recipes, four mindset courses, 11 structured programmes and weekly live workout classes. We love the 'pain clinic' section, too, which focuses on managing back pain.
8. My Possible Self
If your mental health is a concern, My Possible Self may be the app for you.
Use the 'moments' function to monitor your feelings and recognise any patterns or triggers in your behaviour, and the self-help 'modules' to tackle issues such as stress, anxiety, loss or major life changes.
9. Deliciously Ella
A recipe book in your pocket, cult lifestyle blogger Deliciously Ella's popular app brings her delicious plant-based recipes straight to your phone, with nearly 300 nutritious dishes to choose from - and with 2021's update, there's plenty more to enjoy, too.
It now includes a personalised wellness plan and an intuitive daily tracking tool to monitor your plant-based diet, exercise, sleep, mindfulness and water consumption.
10. The Flo App
Another menstrual cycle app but one with a pin code lock which makes those worried about privacy feel much more secure. This app is particularly good for those looking to be able to plan around their periods, perhaps if they're booking a holiday and would prefer not to be on, or for those looking to get pregnant.
It tracks periods, ovulation and fertility and gives great insights throughout the month about how your body is working at specific times.
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11. Sleep Cycle
Does sleep generally stress you out? Do you feel like you constantly don't get enough of it or, at least, your quality of sleep isn't that great? This app could seriously help.
Tracking your sleep cycle throughout the night, based on movement and sound analysis, it works to wake you up when you are at your lightest sleep which means you'll be much less groggy and grumpy rising.
12. Smoke Free
Looking to give up? Download Smoke Free. This app is genius because not only can you track cravings and progress, which will help deter you from lighting up, it will tell you every single penny you've saved by packing it in and the hours of life you've saved too. If that's not motivational, we don't know what is.
13. Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock
Are you wanting to get more sleep and stop the endless scrolling through Instagram before bed? Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock is an intelligent alarm clock that tracks your sleep patterns and wakes you up in light sleep, helping you to feel more rested and energised.
Leading messaging app Viber connects over 900 million users around the globe - it's a digital platform that provides users with access to supportive online communities and groups.
Online communities are a great way for people to hold themselves accountable and seek motivation from likeminded individuals. Group chats can offer support for fitness, cooking and book recommendations.
Streaks is a to-do list that helps you form good habits, and an essential app to hold you accountable to all your goals. The app allows you to track up to twelve tasks you want to complete each day and the goal is to build a streak of consecutive days.
Whether it is going for a run, reading a chapter of a book, or quitting smoking – Streaks can help you keep track of these tasks.
Nowadays there is always an excuse for drinking. From a celebration to a commiseration and even a quick catchup, a glass of fizz is never far away, right? That's why the free Drinkaware app is a way to make sure you stay on top of your wellness when it comes to drinking.
The app comes with trackers and tools such as the unit & calorie calculator and the alcohol self-assessment tool so you can review your drinking patterns, set goals and become more aware of the units you are consuming. The app can also record the money spent on alcohol - consider yourself warned.
17. The ECG App
The Apple Watch is capable of generating an ECG similar to a single-lead electrocardiogram. This informative data will be automatically stored in the Health app on your iPhone and can be shared as a PDF with your doctor.
Find out more here.
Exercise is just as good for the mind as it is the body, but sometimes finding the time to workout can seem next to impossible. Luckily, Wakeout has you covered with a library of over 300 free exercises which can be done in 30-second chunks in the places where you spend most of your time.
Whether you're kicking back on the sofa, working 9 to 5 in front of a laptop or, travelling from point A to B, you'll be able to work out on the go. It's so important to find the time to look after yourself, and with Wakeout you can finally put yourself first!
19. Yoga Studio: Mind & Body
There really is something for everyone on this app. Making yoga far more accessible, you'll find general classes for beginners, prenatal classes for expectant mums, as well as classes to combat mental health and back pain. There's even a Desk Series you can do during a much-needed break from all those Zoom meetings and conference calls.
20. TRUCONNECT by TV.FIT
TRUCONNECT by TV.FIT is a wellness and fitness community app that encourages a holistic approach, with a focus on behavioural change.
Not only can you tap into hundreds of workout programmes, some led by your favourite celebrities (from Gemma Atkinson to Helen Flanagan and Jessica Wright), but you’ll have access to mental health and lifestyle e-books created by Dr Chris Williams, one of just a few whose work is prescribed by the NHS, as well as behavioural change content from leading doctors.
All the apps’ programs are fully adaptable, with the idea being to provide something for everyone.
Calm is a tool designed to help with your sleep, meditation and relaxation. Recommended by top psychologists and mental health experts, the app vows to reduce stress by offering guided meditations, breathing programs, stretching exercises, and relaxing music.
The highlight is undoubtedly the celeb-fronted Sleep Stories, a collection of bedtime stories read by A-list celebrities including Harry Styles and Stephen Fry, guaranteed to lull you into a deep and restful slumber.
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